A tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery that removes excess skin and fat in the abdomen. It’s considered a safe and effective surgical procedure that’s effective for many women. If you want to have a flat, toned abdomen, you should consider a tummy tuck surgery. These surgical procedures can improve the look of your body and can help you feel more confident and attractive. In addition, It will improve the way your clothes fit and will improve your core strength. After surgery, your abdominal muscles will be tightened and toned. This will improve your posture and relieve pressure on your urethra and bladder.
Is a Tummy Tuck Good Idea?
While it can improve your appearance, it can also help your health. The removal of extra skin on your abdomen will improve your health and prevent you from having to deal with infections and discomfort. Furthermore, it will allow you to be more active and enjoy physical activities without feeling as much pressure on your abdomen. It can also be a way to eliminate stress urinary incontinence. You can even enjoy better bladder control.
- Restore weakened or separated muscles.
- Help ease pain or discomfort
- Improve bladder function.
- Reduce itching and skin infections caused by excess skin.
- Change the shape and tone of the abdomen to create a firmer and smoother profile.
What Medical Concerns Can Tummy Tuck Help With?
Tummy tuck is a cosmetic surgery but in some cases considered medically beneficial and helps patients significantly. You can find tummy tuck surgery as a solution for certain conditions. It helps with:
1. Reduce Back Pain
In a study of 214 patients, evidence suggests that a tummy tuck can relieve back pain. Researchers found that tummy tuck surgery led to satisfactory elimination of chronic low-back pain . This is reported in the results section of a research article published in 2011 by Mersmann et al.
2. Hernia Repair
Studies have found that tummy tucks are beneficial for repairing abdominal wall hernias. This study was done on patients who had abdominoplasty combined with repair of a ventral hernia. They experienced an improvement in symptoms and a low rate of hernia recurrence. They also experienced a low rate of complications such as wound opening or infection.
3. Improved Posture
In patients with excess abdominal skin, improvement in posture occurred after 1 year. Researchers concluded that this improvement was due to higher self-confidence and body image.
In women who underwent a cosmetic tummy tuck, improved posture was also noted. Researchers confirmed that this was due to improvements in vertebral column angles.
4. Reduces Urinary Incontinence
Medical evidence supports the benefits of tummy tuck on urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is the unintentional passing of urine. Stress urinary incontinence sui may occur from pregnancy, childbirth, aging, or prior pelvic surgery. According to a study, patients with urinary incontinence had improved symptoms  14 months after a tummy tuck.
Tummy tuck surgery can strengthen or rejoin the abdominal muscles or stomach muscles. This is a condition called Diastasis Recti. It can be congenital but most commonly acquired during pregnancies and/or larger weight gain. For more information on this, view our blog How to Tell if Your Abdominal Muscles Were Torn During Pregnancy.
5. Prevents Skin Problems Associated with Sagging Abdominal Skin
Evidence shows that tummy tuck helps prevent skin problems caused by sagging skin. In particular, tummy tuck reduces the incidence of skin problems like intertrigo. This is a condition where there are skin rashes caused by rubbing of sagging skin.
6. Can Improve Overall Quality of Life
It can improve a patient’s life by improving self-esteem and quality of life.
A study performed found a significant improvement in physical health after abdominoplasty. It also improved mental wellness, measured by life satisfaction scores. Most individuals taking these tests had high numbers indicating good general wellbeing. They scored high on Questions On Life Satisfaction, Rosenberg Self -Esteem Questionnaire, and Freiburg Personality Inventory.
Researchers analysed the quality of life and psychological status in obese patients who underwent the surgery. They found that they also reported better sexual relations. Another study done on women with eating disorders found significant psychological improvements after surgery.
What Causes Excess Abdominal Fat and a Bulging Belly?
Belly fat or loose skin happens for many reasons. It could be from drinking alcohol, genetics, being sedentary or eating unhealthy food.
- Alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol can cause weight gain and lead to the accumulation of fat around your stomach .
- Genetics: If you have a family history of obesity, it’s likely you will gain more belly fat over time .
- Sedentary lifestyle: Physical inactivity can increase your risk of developing belly fat.
- Stress: Stress causes an increase in cortisol levels which leads people to overeat. High-pressure jobs or demanding work can contribute towards more belly fat .
- Unhealthy food selection: Sweet foods like cake triggers cravings and increases appetite. This can lead to increased amounts of belly fat. Also a diet high in carbs will do the same.
What are the Cons ?
You should always consider the following disadvantages before undergoing the surgery:
- There are potential risks and complications with the surgery.
- There is an expected downtime of 3-4 weeks or more. You will need to make arrangements with your work and family commitments.
- This procedure is best suited if you are not planning to get pregnant in the future. Pregnancy can stretch the tummy and compromise your results.
- Weight gain can impact the results. You must be able to maintain a healthy weight.
- The surgery cannot prevent the effects of ageing on your tummy region.
- You will have a scar near your bikini line. This usually extends from hip bone to hip bone (depending on the extent of the surgery).
How Long Do Tummy Tuck Results Last?
The results of a tummy tuck surgical procedure usually last for several years if you maintain a healthy weight. But, it cannot prevent the effects of ageing on your abdominal region.
How Much Does a Tummy Tuck Cost in Australia?
Tummy tuck surgery can cost between $14,000 and $24,000. The price may vary depending on your doctor and their experience with the procedure. For some people, this surgery can be a life-changing event that helps them to feel more confident. Of those who want it done, whether it’s for cosmetic or medical reasons, many find it worth the cost.
How Long Is Tummy Tuck Recovery?
Tummy tuck recovery requires 3-4 weeks of downtime and rest. Many patients are unable to exercise for 8 weeks after their surgery. You’ll be able to see the final result of your procedure after six months. Scarring will take anywhere from 12-18 months to fade.
Does Medicare Cover Tummy Tuck?
The rules about Medicare cover tummy tuck often change. Persistent skin rashes, hernia, incontinence or lower back pain may allow a rebate. Always check the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) or submit a confidential enquiry form.
Book Your Initial Consultation
For a confidential consultation with Dr Doyle about tummy tuck surgery, contact us. Dr Doyle always takes the time to create a personalised surgical plan to treat your concerns. If you suffer from any of the medical conditions above, he’d love to chat with you about a solution.
- Traversy G, Chaput JP Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update Curr Obes Rep 2015;4(1):122-130. doi:10.1007/s13679-014-0129-4 Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338356/.
- Hewagalamulage SD, Lee TK, Clarke IJ, Henry BA Stress, cortisol, and obesity: a role for cortisol responsiveness in identifying individuals prone to obesity Domest Anim Endocrinol 2016 Jul;56 Suppl:S112-20. doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2016.03.004. Epub 2016 Mar 31. PMID: 27345309. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27345309/.
- Taylor DA, Merten SL, Sandercoe GD, Gahankari D, Ingram SB, Moncrieff NJ, Ho K, Sellars GD, Magnusson MR Abdominoplasty Improves Low Back Pain and Urinary Incontinence Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018 Mar;141(3):637-645. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004100. PMID: 29481394. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29481394/#:~:text=Conclusion%3A%20Abdominoplasty%20with%20rectus%20repair,back%20pain%20and%20urinary%20incontinence.
- Petrakis I, Xenaki S, Andreou A, Panagiotakis G, Chalkiadakis G Therapeutic abdominoplasty: Report of a case Int J Surg Case Rep 2015;8C:96-99. doi:10.1016/j.ijscr.2015.01.039. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4353935/.
- Soteropulos CE, Edinger KM, Leibl KE, Siebert JW Improvement in Back Pain Following Abdominoplasty: Results of a 10-Year, Single-Surgeon Series Aesthet Surg J 2020 Nov 19;40(12):1309-1315. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjaa032. PMID: 32003775; PMCID: PMC7676454. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32003775/.
- Robertson JD, de la Torre JI, Gardner PM, Grant JH 3rd, Fix RJ, Vásconez LO Abdominoplasty repair for abdominal wall hernias Ann Plast Surg 2003 Jul;51(1):10-6. doi: 10.1097/01.SAP.0000054240.21252.64. PMID: 12838119. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12838119/.
- Dean RA, Dean JA, Matarasso A. Secondary Abdominoplasty: Management of the Umbilicus after Prior Stalk Transection. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019 Apr;143(4):729e-733e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000005415. PMID: 30921121. Retrieved https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30921121/.
- Moreno-Egea A, Campillo-Soto Á, Morales-Cuenca G. Does Abdominoplasty Add Morbidity to Incisional Hernia Repair? A Randomized Controlled Trial. Surg Innov. 2016 Oct;23(5):474-80. doi: 10.1177/1553350616646480. Epub 2016 Apr 28. PMID: 27130646. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27130646/#:~:text=Conclusions%20Postoperative%20in%2Dhospital%20stay,quality%20of%20life%20when%20indicated.
- Mazzocchi M, Dessy LA, Di Ronza S, Iodice P, Saggini R, Scuderi N. A study of postural changes after abdominal rectus plication abdominoplasty. Hernia. 2014 Aug;18(4):473-80. doi: 10.1007/s10029-012-1015-1. Epub 2012 Nov 8. PMID: 23132640. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23132640/.
- Temel M, Türkmen A, Berberoğlu Ö. Improvements in Vertebral-Column Angles and Psychological Metrics After Abdominoplasty With Rectus Plication. Aesthet Surg J. 2016 May;36(5):577-87. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjv257. Epub 2016 Jan 12. PMID: 26764262. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26764262/.
- Carruthers KH, Kocak E, Hulsen JH, McMahan JD. Improvement in stress urinary incontinence after abdominoplasty. Aesthet Surg J. 2014 Sep;34(7):1091-8. doi: 10.1177/1090820X14544023. Epub 2014 Jul 29. PMID: 25073582. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25073582/.
- Papadopulos NA, Staffler V, Mirceva V, Henrich G, Papadopoulos ON, Kovacs L, Herschbach P, Machens HG, Biemer E. Does abdominoplasty have a positive influence on quality of life, self-esteem, and emotional stability? Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012 Jun;129(6):957e-962e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31824ecc2b. PMID: 22634693. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22634693/.
- Lazar CC, Clerc I, Deneuve S, Auquit-Auckbur I, Milliez PY. Abdominoplasty after major weight loss: improvement of quality of life and psychological status. Obes Surg. 2009 Aug;19(8):1170-5. doi: 10.1007/s11695-009-9883-x. Epub 2009 Jun 11. PMID: 19517201. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19517201/.
- Saariniemi KM, Salmi AM, Peltoniemi HH, Helle MH, Charpentier P, Kuokkanen HO. Abdominoplasty improves quality of life, psychological distress, and eating disorder symptoms: a prospective study. Plast Surg Int. 2014;2014:197232. doi: 10.1155/2014/197232. Epub 2014 Nov 24. PMID: 25506426; PMCID: PMC4259081. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25506426/.
- de Brito MJ, Nahas FX, Barbosa MV, Dini GM, Kimura AK, Farah AB, Ferreira LM. Abdominoplasty and its effect on body image, self-esteem, and mental health. Ann Plast Surg. 2010 Jul;65(1):5-10. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181bc30f7. PMID: 20467297. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20467297/.
- Finally, Wollina U, Heinig B, Nowak A Treatment of elderly patients with advanced lipedema: a combination of laser-assisted liposuction, medial thigh lift, and lower partial abdominoplastyClin Cosmet Investig Dermatol 2014;7:35-42. Published 2014 Jan 23. doi:10.2147/CCID.S56655. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3904776/.
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About Dr Mark Doyle FRACS (Plast) – Queensland Plastic Surgeon
Servicing patients in Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and New South Wales NSW – Northern Rivers, Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore and more.
Dr Mark Doyle is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over thirty years of experience performing Breast, Body, Face and Nose surgery. As a highly esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr Mark is driven by an intense passion for helping patients achieve a happier, more beautiful self through advanced cosmetic surgery procedures.
He maintains a strong commitment to achieving the best possible results for all his breast, body, face and nose patients, both men and women.
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*DISCLAIMER: All information on Gold Coast Plastic Surgery website is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Results can vary significantly and depend on individual patient circumstances. All images on this website, unless specified as real patient images, are stock images used for illustrative purposes only. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your surgeon. Book a consult for details regarding your cosmetic surgery procedure.